Improving a feature of the recipient organism: - inheriting a gene into crop plants to give the plant resistance to herbicides allows farmers to use herbicides as the crops are groing and so increase crop yield. - Inserting a growth-controlling gene, such as the myostatin gene, into livestock promotes muscles growth
Engineering Organisms that can Synthesis useful products:- Inserting the gene for a human hormone into bacteria and growing the bacteria produces large quantities of that hormone for human use. - Inserting the gene for a pharmaceutical chemical into female sheep so that the chemical is produced in their milk means the chemical can be easily collected. - Inserting genes fro beta-carotene production into rice so that the molecule is present in the grain.
...where gentic material may be exchanged
- Copies of plasmid DNA are passed between bacteria, soemtimes even of different species
- Plasmids often carry genes associated with antibiotic resistances so the swapping of plasmids is of concern because it speeds up the spread of antibiotic resistace between bacterial populations - resistant strains of bacteria (MRSA) are causing healthcare problmes because the bacterium is commonly found on human skin. The transfer of this bacterium to a wound can lead to a very serious infection.
- The advantage of bacterial conjugation is that it may contribute to genetic variation and, in the case of antibiotic resistance genes, survival in the presence of the chemicals
- 1) Conjugation tube forms between a donor and recipient and an enzyme makes a nick in the plasmid
- 2) Plasmid DNA replication starts. The free DNA strand starts moving through the tube
- 3) In the recipient cell, replication starts on the transferred DNA
- 4) The cells move apart and the plasmid in each forms a circle
Bacterial Transformation and Pneumonia in Mice
caused by bacterium pneumococcus -> S-strain kills an infection, R-strain does not
When a mix of dead s-strain and live r-strain where injected into mice, the mouse died. It was found that the R-strain had undergone bacterial conjugation with the s-strain so it took on these characteristics and was able to then produce the necessary proteins to kill the mice